8.1/10
38,763
144 user 50 critic

Sleuth (1972)

PG | | Mystery, Thriller | 12 July 1973 (UK)
A man who loves games and theater invites his wife's lover to meet him, setting up a battle of wits with potentially deadly results.

Writers:

(play), (screenplay)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Alec Cawthorne ...
John Matthews ...
Eve Channing ...
Teddy Martin ...

What You Missed at San Diego Comic-Con 2017

From the madness of the convention floor to the emotional panel reveals and star-studded interviews, catch up on all the unforgettable sights from Comic-Con.

Browse Our Guide to Comic-Con

Edit

Storyline

Milo Tindle and Andrew Wyke have something in common, Andrew's wife. In an attempt to find a way out of this without costing Andrew a fortune in alimony, he suggests Milo pretend to rob his house and let him claim the insurance on the stolen jewelry. The problem is that they don't really like each other and each cannot avoid the zinger on the other. The plot has many shifts in which the advantage shifts between Milo and Andrew. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If it was murder, where's the body? If it was for a woman, which woman? If it's only a game, why the blood? See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 July 1973 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

El detective  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The original stage production of "Sleuth" by Anthony Shaffer opened on Broadway on November 12, 1970. It originally starred Anthony Quayle as Andrew, and Keith Baxter as Milo, ran for 1,222 performances, and won the 1971 Tony Award for the Best Play. See more »

Goofs

When Milo and Andrew have blown the safe and are organizing the fake robbery, the shadows of crew members are visible behind the translucent windows. See more »

Quotes

Andrew Wyke: On the morning of his execution, King Charles the First put on two shirts. 'If I tremble with the cold,' he said, 'my enemies will say it was from fear. I will not expose myself to such reproaches.' We must also attempt this Anglo-Saxon dignity as you mount the steps to the scaffold.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in George Stevens: The Filmmakers Who Knew Him (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Anything goes
Words and music by Cole Porter
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One of the best thrillers of all time
23 September 2004 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Sleuth is, without doubt, one of the finest thrillers ever made. It continually keeps you on the edge of your seat and you never truly know where you are. This is an excellent thing for a thriller to do as it ensures that you will keep watching for that all important next plot development. The plot itself follows a man named Andrew (played by Lawrence Olivier) who is a big fan of playing games. He invites the man that has run off with his wife; Milo (Michael Caine) to his house, and while there, he entices him into a plot to steal his wife's jewels so that he can avoid the taxman, and so that Caine can accommodate his new found girlfriend's overly expensive tastes. To give anything else of the plot away would be running the risk of spoiling what is a fascinating piece of cinema, so I will leave the plot details at that. The plot meanders in a way that is hard to pin down; the film remains ambiguous all the way through; nothing is ever what it seems, and that is what makes Sleuth a cut above many detective mysteries.

This movie stars two super-heavyweights of the British movie industry; Lawrence Olivier and Michael Caine. The film requires the two to be on screen for nearly the full duration of the movie, so it is obviously essential that they perform to a high standard; and I can confirm they most certainly do just that. The chemistry between the two is outstanding. The way that the sublime dialogue bounds back and fourth between the two is simply a pleasure to watch; and is more entertaining than a lot of movies that are made simply for entertainment purposes. The two do have a tendency to get a bit dramatic at times, there's is a particular sequence in the cellar that springs to mind immediately on that front; but the over-dramatics add to the atmosphere of the film. The film is very different and over the top in it's style anyway; it plays out almost like a moving detective novel, and the fact that both actors have a tendency to camp it up gives the movie something that it would not have had otherwise. The film is based on a stage play by Anthony Shaffer, and this is evident throughout the movie as it plays out just like a stage play on the big screen. The only film that I can think of that is similar to Sleuth in this way is Alfred Hitchcock's 'Rope'. Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who also made the classic All About Eve, very astutely directs this film. I would even go as far as to say that the direction here is better than it was in All About Eve; Joseph L. Mankiewicz's use of the camera is amazing and you can tell throughout the film that this is an auteur at the absolute top of his game. Overall, Sleuth is one of the best films ever made. It is amazing just how brilliant a film can be with a miniscule cast and a brilliant script, and if only for that fact alone; Sleuth is a film that you need to see.


32 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page